Barclays Insurance Services and Royal & SunAlliance (RSA) have had their knuckles rapped following complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) about a recent direct mailing campaign.

Two complaints were brought by The Good Doctor Ltd on the grounds that advertising for the Barclays Hospital Cash Plan exaggerated the lengths of hospital stays in order to demonstrate the policy's value. The case centred on two example claims used in the advertising.

The first was of a woman who had been involved in a car accident and subsequently spent 28 days in hospital. In this case, it was found that the duration of the hospital stay was typical and the complaint was not upheld.

In the second case, a man who suffered a small stroke had spent 15 days in hospital. In this case, the ASA upheld the complaint because, it found, the average stay in hospital for strokes was 6.2 days.

The ASA, RSA and Barclays were all unable to confirm why RSA, as underwriter, had been cited in the case.